Dr. Robert Cutchen Albuquerque & Santa Fe

Meet Dr. Robert Cutchen

In 2009, Dr. Cutchen founded Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute, a clinic dedicated solely to the diagnosis and treatment of venous disease. His goal was to provide the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options all in the comfort of his office without the need for hospitalization. Our goal is to treat every patient the way we ourselves would hope to be treated.

Read Dr. Cutchen’s full bio here

Vein Treatments Albuquerque & Santa Fe

Vein Treatments

We provide our patients with the most advanced and comprehensive vein treatments. See the difference between before and after.

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Aesthetic Treatments Albuquerque & Santa Fe

Aesthetic Treatments

We utilize the power of advanced laser technology to treat a multitude of cosmetic concerns. See what a difference our treatments can make.

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Patient Resources Albuquerque & Santa FeDo you have a question?

Discover our FAQ pages to find your answers. If you still have a question, please call us at (505) 848-8346 and we will be happy to assist you.

Lymphedema-albuquerque & Santa Fe


Along with veins and arteries, the lymphatic system is also part of the vascular system. Fluid that has escaped from the smallest blood vessels into the tissues beneath the skin is collected by hair-like vessels that collect the fluid, filter it through lymph nodes and then return the fluid into the blood. If this system isn’t working effectively because of chronic venous insufficiency or other causes, fluid builds up in the tissues and the result is swelling.

Lymphedema is a chronic condition of the lymphatic system. As part of our circulation, protein-rich fluid makes its way out of the smallest blood vessels and into the surrounding tissues beneath the skin. This fluid is collected by very fine vessels called lymphatic vessels which filter the fluid through lymph nodes and eventually deposit the fluid back into the bloodstream. Lymphedema occurs when the accumulation of fluid in the tissues outpaces the removal of the fluid.

Lymphedema most often affects an arm or leg, although it can affect several parts of the body, even the head, and neck. The swollen leg or other body parts may ache and feel very heavy, and changes to the skin can result.

Primary lymphedema occurs when a person is born with a malfunctioning lymphatic system or a condition that causes lymphedema. Secondary lymphedema results from damage or disruption of the lymphatic system that blocks fluid drainage.

One of the most common causes of secondary lymphedema is cancer and cancer treatment, such as radiation and/or surgery. However, many patients don’t realize that lymphedema can often be caused by Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), an advanced stage of vein disease.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency or venous reflux can feature lymphedema as a symptom. If lymphedema symptoms occur as a result of a chronic vein issue, treatment such as laser vein ablation can reduce or eliminate lymphedema symptoms.

After fluid starts to accumulate and causes a swollen leg, arm, or other body parts, it will continue to accumulate without a comprehensive treatment plan. The sooner treatment for lymphedema begins, the sooner you can better manage your symptoms.

The mainstay of lymphedema treatment is compression therapy. This can come in many forms including compression stockings, compression wraps, and inflatable pneumatic compression devices.

In many cases we will also want to involve a lymphedema therapist. These individuals are physical therapists with additional training in lymphedema. They can use manual techniques and compression bandaging to get the best results.

If lymphedema has occurred as a result of chronic venous insufficiency or venous reflux, laser ablation treatment can reroute blood flow to healthier veins and relieve the symptoms of lymphedema.

If venous disease is contributing, Dr. Cutchen will formulate a treatment plan specific to the needs of each patient. All of our vein treatments are performed in the office with immediate return to activity.

Lymphedema is generally a progressive issue, meaning that it gets worse over time.  Early treatment will yield the best results.  It is often a problem that is managed as opposed to one that can be permanently solved so a good long-term treatment plan is ideal.  If venous disease such as chronic venous insufficiency is contributing, those veins should be treated with laser ablation to give the best long-term outcome.

Lymphedema treatment is generally quite successful, although most patients will need a long-term plan to keep the swelling away. That plan will include compression, physical activity, weight loss and ongoing work with healthcare professionals.